Labware for Handling Air-Sensitive Reagents

By: Paula Freemantle, Chemfiles Volume 10 Article 2


Product Manager


Air-sensitive reagents are packaged in special Sure/Seal bottles.

Our exclusive packaging system provides a convenient method for storing and dispensing research quantities of air-sensitive reagents. With this bottle, reactive materials can be handled and stored without exposure to atmospheric moisture or oxygen. The reagent comes in contact only with glass and PTFE, yet it can be readily transferred using standard syringe techniques.

Reagent transfer with syringe

Reagent transfer with syringe

The syringe transfer of liquid reagents (up to 100 mL) is readily accomplished by first pressurizing the Sure/Seal reagent bottle with dry, high-purity nitrogen followed by filling the syringe as illustrated in the photo. The nitrogen pressure is used to slowly fill the syringe with the desired volume plus a slight excess (to compensate for gas bubbles) of the reagent. Note that the nitrogen pressure pushes the plunger back as the reagent enters the syringe. The plunger should not be pulled back since this tends to cause leaks and create gas bubbles. The excess reagent along with any gas bubbles is forced back into the reagent bottle. The accurately measured volume of reagent in the syringe is quickly transferred to the reaction apparatus by puncturing a rubber septum on the reaction flask or addition funnel.

For additional information about air-sensitive reagent transfer techniques, see Technical Bulletin AL-134.

Recommended Equipment for Transfer Techniques

  • Chem-Flex transfer lines have large bore, 12 gauge, non-coring needles for faster flow rates, liquids contact only PTFE and stainless steel.
    Chem-Flex transfer lines

  • Glass syringes with metal needle-lock Luers are recommended for transfer procedures of air-sensitive reagents because they prevent syringe needles from loosening during use.
    Glass syringes with metal needle-lock Luers

  • Metal stopcocks are useful in transfer lines for slow flow control of reagent into a reaction vessel
    Metal stopcocks

  • Precision Seal® rubber septa are for use with organic chemicals and solvents, pressure applications and transfer techniques because they will not slide through the joint or pop-off during cannulation. Secure the foldover sleeve to the glassware joint with a wrap-it tie.
    Precision Seal® rubber septa

  • Syringe needles with non-coring points provide better septum resealability after puncture, Needles are available with Luer hubs, or as double-ended or double-tipped needles in a wide range of lengths and gauges.
    Syringe needles with non-coring points

Eliminating static in glove boxes and bags

Static in plastic glove boxes and bags can be a problem in many applications. The antistatic ionizer from Plas-Labsis an effective way to eliminate all static charges within 36 inches (90 cm) of unit. Developed for the use in glove boxes, the ionizer may also be used in glove bags. Snip-off AtmosBag gas ports to provide access for the power cable of the ionizer.

Ionizer and Unit

Ionizer and Unit features include:

  • Ion pulse rate from 1 to 5 pulses/second
  • Ion balance adjustment
  • Compact footprint
  • Virtually maintenance


The AtmosBag

AtmosBag is a flexible, inflatable polyethylene chamber with built-in gloves that lets you work in a totally isolated and controlled environment. A continuous purge of dry inert gas prevents any traces of moisture or oxygen diffusion into the AtmosBag making it the ideal environment for manipulation of air- and moisture-sensitive materials.

The AtmosBag™


Operations such as material transfer and packaging, sampling, weighing, and even reactions can be conducted inside of an AtmosBag under a blanket of dry inert gas such as nitrogen, argon, or helium, to prevent decomposition.

News and Innovation

High-Performance Valved Tubes for NMR and EPR Experiments

High-Performance Valved Tubes

Low pressure/vacuum (LPV) gas-tight tubes have quality PTFE valves with 4X larger sealing surface than traditional J. Young valved NMR tubes, and at a lower cost.

NMR tube holders

NMR tube holders

Unbreakable NMR tube carriers provide protection for the tube and lab personnel when transporting samples. The clear, shatter-resistant polycarbonate case allows for visual sample identification and inspection prior to opening. Natural rubber plugs on both ends of the case provide impact absorption if accidentally dropped. NMR tubes are held securely in place inside the PC case by the bottom loading rubber plug. Carrier holds one 5 mm diameter tube, 7 or 8 in. L.


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